A business is nothing without its employees. While it is possible to build an empire as a sole proprietor, the reality is that having a team can significantly help you grow faster in the industry. That is why it’s important for every business owner to take careful consideration when choosing and managing their employees. But aside from employee satisfaction, it’s also important to learn about employee motivation.


What is Employee Motivation?

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Employee motivation refers to an individual’s emotion, personality, attitude, and drive to perform work-related activities. Many believe that motivation is one of the most important factors in boosting employee performance and thus, pushing the business’s growth and success.

Managers can view employee motivation in different ways. It can be seen in terms of simple happiness, contentment, and engagement. In comparison, a motivated employee is focused, communicative, enthusiastic, and driven. On the other hand, unmotivated employees tend to avoid tasks, work at a slower pace, be unproductive, and disengaged.


How Does Employee Motivation Affect Businesses?

Disengaged employees cost businesses all over the world $450 to $550 billion dollars because of a decline in productivity. A survey by Gallup showed that disengaged employees experience poor management and miserable working conditions. Because of this, a significant number of these unmotivated and disengaged employees are actively looking for new employment. 

On the flip side, a study states that companies with engaged and motivated employees see a whopping 233% increase in customer loyalty and a 26% increase in annual revenue. According to Talent Works International, there is a 31% increase in productivity among happy employees. Happy employees also tend to take fewer leaves from work and sick days.


Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation in The Workplace

As a leader or manager, how do you effectively motivate your team? Well, there are two forms of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation refers to feelings of motivation that stem internally. It calls to a person’s desires and their determination to meet them. Thus, it results in behavior that they deem as rewarding. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to external factors such as rewards. Often, external motivators are tangible such as money, awards, recognition, praise, and even fame.

Leaders can use a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators in order to boost their team’s motivation. Certain scenarios call for a more intrinsic approach while at other times, extrinsic motivators are more suitable.


2 Effective Ways To Improve Employee Motivation

The attitude and satisfaction of your employees translate into their work performance. If they are not satisfied with their job condition, their performance would tank and lead to a decrease in the overall productivity of the company. Taking this into consideration, here are some tips on how to boost employee motivation in the workplace:


Provide flexibility and offer autonomy

Girl stretching at work

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According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), strict and rigid mandates sometimes threaten a person’s feelings of individuality and autonomy. When a company imposes rules and regulations that are in conflict with other employees’ desires, it can lead to a high level of dissatisfaction and disengagement. 

To avoid this, HBR opens the idea of flexibility and autonomy in the workplace. This helps reinforce the person’s feeling of self and control through flexibility. And on the other hand, autonomy in work provides an opportunity to improve and develop through task delegation under a delegative style of leadership.


Recognize and reward

One of the most common forms of motivation in the workplace is rewards. This is a type of extrinsic motivator that urges employees to work accordingly to receive a reward at the end. In this case, It can be in a form of a salary raise or a small one-time cash incentive. 

However, not every ‘great job’ in the office would equate to a monetary reward. Taking this into consideration, even a simple recognition among peers or the whole company can boost an employee’s feeling of satisfaction and value. 


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